My Friends! I bring to you the call for change!
When an industry is found to be lacking, a major upheaval is the only action
possible! We must make our displeasure known and heads will roll!
It is time to change the way movie trailers are made!
While the flagrant misuse of trailers has been around for far too long,
(Ransom, anyone?) the film which is forcing my hand on this issue is the new
hostage thriller The Negotiator.
First of all, this is a really good movie, which makes the injustice all the
more painful. Kevin Spacey and Samuel L. Jackson act circles around the rest
of the summer and come up with a gripping, engaging romp.
Sadly, the point is moot for the trailer has truly insulted the audience that
comes for the movie.
Spoilers Follow for Movies Already Out on Video
How can this happen?
Well, remember Ransom's trailer making a big deal about Mel Gibson offering
2,000,000 bucks for the head of the kidnapper? Remember how that scene shows
up about 1 ½ hours into the movie, making the first 2/3 of the movie
How about the preview for Executive Decision where Steven Seagal, upon hearing
the words "We're not going to make it!" yells back, "You are!" and slams a
door closed. Uhm, was anyone else surprised when that very line turned out to
be his final words before death? For that matter, did anyone care? I mean
this is Steven Seagal we're talking about...
End Spoilers for Movies on Video
So now we come to the most unkindest cut of all, The Negotiator.
Spoiler to Follow for The Negotiator, Based on What the Trailer for the Movie Has Told You
So Don't Read This if A) You've Seen the Trailer and B) You Want to See the Movie But Haven't
Go Ahead and Read it if Either A) You've Seen the Movie, or B) You Don't Want to See the Movie, or even C) If you have not seen the trailer. In Those Cases, You Should Be Safe
OK, Here we go.
At the very end of the trailer for The Negotiator, there is one line which
seems to give away a huge, major plot point. I mean a really, huge, major
plot point. If you've seen the trailer, you know what I'm talking about.
Here's the thing.
It's not in the movie.
Not only is that line not in the movie, but whatever scene that line might
have been from is not in movie, and the events which that lines seems to point
towards do not happen in the movie.
Confused? I was. Because I spent most of the movie going,
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get to the bit in the trailer."
And it never came.
End All Spoilers and Things in Boldface So You Can Go Ahead And Start Reading Again
So what can we do stop this insanity? I suggest you write your congressman
today. Specifically, about movie trailers and how they're giving too much of
the movie away.
So what's a good trailer? Well, do you remember the teaser trailer for
Twister? It was the very first scene, where an evil, sadistic tornado
terrifies a young couple and wrecks havoc all over the place. An exiting
scene which gave you the feel of the movie yet also gave away absolutely
nothing to the plot. (Sadly, it turned out that Twister didn't have a plot to
give away, but that's besides the point.)
I mean what would people have said if the trailer for The Crying Game included
the scene where we learn that she's a guy?
Oops, Missed That Spoiler. Sorry. I'm Trying to Keep Up, but He's
Giving Absolutely Everything Away. I'll Be More Careful. Won't Happen
But Then, Did You Really Not Know That? I Mean my Grandmother Knows That, and She Hasn't Been to the Movies Since Shadowlands.
It's really a shame that the trailer, which by the way is almost never
by the same people who create the movie, so damaged The Negotiator, because
truth told, it's a really good film. Besides Spacey and Jackson the
surrounding folk are all good, especially Siobhan Fallon, the poor gal who
plays the secretary hostage. You may remember her from Men In Black, she was
Vincent D'Onofrio's hick wife. A very funny actress who does a great job in
this flick as well.
Ah well, I'm giving The Negotiator 3-3/4 Babylons, while the trailer for the
film gets 1 Babylon. Usually a trailer makes the movie look better than it
actually is, this trailer didn't do the film justice.
Sorry about all the notes. I try to police The Self-Made Critic, but it's
like trying to stop a rampaging elephant in The Pottery Barn.
On another note entirely, this hostage-taking film has given me some very
Directed By: F. Gary Gray
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, J.T. Walsh, Siobhan
Fallon and your nagging memories of the trailer.